After terrorizing the NBA for 27 consecutive games, the Miami Heat came crashing back down to Earth last night in Chicago, as the severely short-handed Bulls put an end to their historic winning streak.
The Chicago Bulls were very physical with LeBron James when he attacked the hoop, and in his frustration, he earned himself a flagrant foul by driving a shoulder into Carlos Boozer’s chest.
Per the AP:
“I’m not sitting here crying about anything,” James said. “I play the game at a high level, I play with a lot of aggression, I understand that some of the plays are on the borderline of a basketball play or not. But sometimes, you know, I don’t know … it’s frustrating.” [...] James often asks referees why he doesn’t get more calls, given that there often is some level of contact whenever he’s around the rim in particular. [Dwyane] Wade likened how James gets officiated to the way Shaquille O’Neal was, in that sometimes isn’t always better to be bigger and stronger than just about everyone else.
James’ comments will likely be at least reviewed by the league, which could also issue a fine for complaints about officiating. “I believe, and I know, that a lot of my fouls are not basketball plays,” James said. “First of all, Kirk Hinrich in the first quarter basically grabbed me with two hands and brought me to the ground. And the last one, Taj Gibson was able to collar me around my shoulder and bring me to the ground. Those are not basketball plays. And it’s been happening all year. I’ve been able to keep my cool and try to tell Spo, ‘Let’s not worry about it too much,’ but it is getting to me a little bit.”
The Miami Heat posted the second-longest winning streak in NBA history, falling just six games shy of matching the 33-game run set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. They now turn their attention to a considerably more important streak.
In their quest for a second straight title, LeBron and company can expect many more hard fouls from opponents.